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Sorry to post, if this is a known issue. I did a search of the forums, and saw older versions having similar issues but not quite the same. So I thought I would mention this.

M1 Mac mini, 16 GB RAM, a file with 150 pages, 4 master pages, and hundreds of linked PDFs inside the project, about 15 linked jpgs.

I am working on a music book, with hundreds of music examples. In the music software I am able to export each line of music as a PDF. Each lesson (2 pages) has text and about 10 lines of music (some more, some less). I am around lesson 36 at the moment, out of 60.

The issue, I start up Publisher, it works fine after about 30 seconds. No issues. No lag, no freezing. I work for several hours. GREAT! I close out the app after saving. Come back 2 hours later. The program starts to act sluggish. Dragging the PDF music examples around takes 15-20 seconds to move 1 line. I see ghost lines, where I select something and move it, but all I see is the outline of the box move and nothing else. I get the spinning ball of death. On a good day, this lasts for about 3 minutes and then I am right back into where I was at the moments everything was running great. On a bad, this never seems to end.

At time, I try to save the project. I see the blue saving bar appear, it gets to the end and never goes away. It is stuck at what looks like 100% saved. This has stuck for 30+ minutes. I force quit, and the when I reopen the app, my document shows up instantly. Sometimes I can keep working, sometimes I get into the same loop as before, with incredibly sluggish performance. 

I have had a few crashes. When selecting the Place tool (to place an image), I select the 10 PDF lines of music. As I click to add each one, somewhere in the sequence the app closes on its own. 

I am not sure what else I can say. But thought I would express what I have seen in hopes for a fix.

Robby

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Here is an update....

Any time I click on the "Place Tool" issues arise, and doing a music book like this I have a lot of files I need to place. Right now, Publisher will allow me to place 1 file (sometimes), before crashing. If I click on the "Place Tool" after the 1 file is on the page, Publisher crashes. If I select more than 1 file in the list of files, Publisher crashes. After everything restarts, sometimes clicking on the "Place Tool" for the first time causes Publisher to crash. Sometimes, it just hangs. However 85% of the time, the program window closes on its own.

I have used the "Place Tool" for 90% of the 86-ish pages I have done so far. I am confused why this is causing issues now. Am I doing a project that is too large in regards to linked images? Has my version of Publisher somehow become corrupted?

I do have a deadline to meet with this project. While it is not imminent, it will come due in 1.5 months. I still have another 60-ish pages that I need to complete and right now I can't seem to get any work done. Does Serif need more crash logs or videos of what I am encountering?

Any thoughts?

Robby

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Here is more information. I started thinking while I was saving the document.

This project is in a folder called "Book". Under the "Book" folder, there are additional folders for each chapter "Lesson 1," Lesson 2," etc. Each Lesson folder is where the linked images are residing. Is Publisher struggling to keep track for 100s of files because I have multiple folders? Should I have been placing these all in 1 folder?

Robby

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11 minutes ago, Robby Poole said:

Here is more information. I started thinking while I was saving the document.

This project is in a folder called "Book". Under the "Book" folder, there are additional folders for each chapter "Lesson 1," Lesson 2," etc. Each Lesson folder is where the linked images are residing. Is Publisher struggling to keep track for 100s of files because I have multiple folders? Should I have been placing these all in 1 folder?

Robby

This is how I work. I have the folder called "Book" on the Mac's hard drive or on a Thunderbolt cable attached External Hard Drive. No  network, no cloud drives of any flavour.

Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 11.7.1 
Affinity Designer 2.0.0 | Affinity Photo 2.0.0 | Affinity Publisher 2.0.0 | Beta versions as they appear.

I have never mastered color management, period, so I cannot help with that.

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One more interesting thing. Since I am not even 50% done with this project I have failed to notice that Preflight is doing "Live checking" in the background. 

Preflight is giving me 100s of warnings that the PDF linked files are version 1.4 and compatible with the PDF export version and will be rasterized. 

Could this be part of the culprit?

Robby

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7 minutes ago, Robby Poole said:

One more interesting thing. Since I am not even 50% done with this project I have failed to notice that Preflight is doing "Live checking" in the background. 

Preflight is giving me 100s of warnings that the PDF linked files are version 1.4 and compatible with the PDF export version and will be rasterized. 

Could this be part of the culprit?

Robby

I would say yes.

Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 11.7.1 
Affinity Designer 2.0.0 | Affinity Photo 2.0.0 | Affinity Publisher 2.0.0 | Beta versions as they appear.

I have never mastered color management, period, so I cannot help with that.

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Another update:

After fighting the crashing issue for the last several days, I opened an old file today. Issue of crashing when using the place tool still occurred. After numerous restarts, and trying other files, I ran across a file that had a transparent background. This file behaved a little differently, Publisher still crashed, but it didn't crash as fast in doing my tests.

On the current book file, I did several things. I changed the Preflight from "Live" to "Export" and I changed the background to transparent to see if anything improved. There was one crash, but on restart of the program the issue has gotten EXPONENTIALLY better. I have been able to do 3 more lessons without a crash (knock on wood). I am not sure what is going on, but I hope all of this information can help the Serif team track the issues. I'll post more if I run into more errors.

Robby

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As I posted earlier, I was able to get about 3 more lessons done. I was stuck for a while, and then Publisher started working again. I was glad to make some progress. Got some more work done.

I took a break for about 2.5 hours to have lunch with a friend. Came back to work....and boom  – CRASH CITY!

Here is a video screen capture of the issue. I am hoping all of this information can help the team get to the bottom of this.

Robby 

 

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Hi @Robby Poole,

Thank you for the files it looks like the issues is with one of the linked PDF files as without the the document is stable and does not cause any issue, is it possible for you to send me a copy of the PDF file using the link below for me to test further

 

https://www.dropbox.com/request/rcqVeMRcpNZEv7yk9wCR

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@DWright, I am also running and "testing" this file and these issues under 1.9.4.1076 (beta version). 

I have noticed that if I load the file and let it "sit" and do nothing for right around 5 minutes, I can use the software with no hiccups. If I begin to do anything with the file at startup, that is where the freezing and crashing happens. I am thinking perhaps it is taking a long time to sort through the information? I don't really know. 

Just giving an experience I have had, perhaps it has something to do with the number of linked files? Perhaps there are processes running in the background making sense of all of the information in the file.

Robby

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On 5/28/2021 at 11:21 AM, Robby Poole said:

I have noticed that if I load the file and let it "sit" and do nothing for right around 5 minutes, I can use the software with no hiccups. If I begin to do anything with the file at startup, that is where the freezing and crashing happens. I am thinking perhaps it is taking a long time to sort through the information? I don't really know.

You have a speedy M1 with 16GB RAM so in my opinion 5 minutes for Publisher to do its housekeeping tasks when opening your document seems excessive. I have an old Intel i7 MacBook Pro with 16GB RAM and I think my book is slightly more complex than yours but instead of hundreds of linked PDFs I have hundreds of linked TIFFs. But while Publisher is sluggish for me when I first open my book, it finishes the housekeeping it does when opening a document without a minute. You have much faster hardware so my best guess is that it's due to using PDFs.

I don't know how Publisher is coded of course but TIFF and other raster formats are the simplest for a layout app to deal with. Vector formats like EPS are a bit more complex because they must be rendered, whether by the app or the OS. PDFs are just PostScript like EPS but PDF was originally intended for standalone documents and not for creating vector illustrations for import into other apps so it may be more complex to deal with. I think you should do a speed test using a different image format for your music illustrations.

EPS is the obvious choice to try that but you could also consider using TIFF if you know the exact resolution your book will be printed at and you know you're not going to change your mind and make the illustrations larger later on. This should deliver the same quality and reduce the workload for Publisher to deal with when opening your file. The price will be larger illustration file sizes.

When you open a document in a page layout app like Publisher the app tries to give you editing control as quickly as possible. It continues to do tasks related to opening the document in the background rather than locking you out until it's completely done. For example, Publisher needs to generate thumbnails for each page when you first open your document but after giving you control. Publisher is also checking all of the linked resources to see if any of them have changed. But there's a lot more going on that we can't see which is why it feels sluggish at first.

My knowledge is rather dated but page layout apps typically store documents pre-paginated with markers in the text stories to indicate the start of each page which is why you can open a document to page 125 and the app already knows what text goes on that page. But apps also may re-paginate after loading linked resources, dictionaries, and so on in case anything else has changed.

Affinity Publisher/Designer/Photo 2 for macOS Ventura 13.0, MacBook Pro 14" (M1 Pro)

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Thanks for that advice! I will look into using TIFFs. The only reason I went with PDF was because I had read somewhere that PDF was probably the next best thing to the actual file (obviously taking someone else's word on the matter, as I really don't know). And that seemed to be perhaps ignorantly thought to be true with a lot of the work Publisher had done for PDF pass through. I know what the book layout will be like, as well as the graphic dimensions, so moving to a TIFF for graphics will not be an issue. 

I'll do that now. I will create a version of the book using TIFFs to see off that makes a difference.

Thank you!

Robby

 

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I have started this process, and so far it is ok. Not very far into it mind you, but already Publisher is not crashing when I add lines of music. 

I really hope they can fix this issue. I am trying TIFFs and PNGs. Both seem to cause very little issues. The nice thing about the PDFs was that the music was formatted to fit the page margins. When I import the graphics and use the place tool to drop the files in, they are much smaller than the page margins. This means I will spend time having to drag the files to size. While this might not be a big deal, the PDF was a matter of click and move on. It saved a step or 2.

Robby 

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Don't use PNGs for print. While PNG is a great format for web pages it's not deal for print. TIFF is a better format for printing books.

It was fine to scale the PDFs to any size in Publisher because they're a vector format. With TIFFs you need to ensure they're high enough resolution for print. I'm oversimplifying, but if you're printing at 300dpi it's nice to have a 300dpi TIFF image that you're not scaling larger in Publisher. If you were to scale it to 200% in Publisher it would be 150dpi.

I recommend using picture frames in Publisher instead of just placing images directly onto the page - draw one with the Picture Frame Rectangle Tool and make it the size you want your image to be. Let's say you wanted it to be 4 inches wide by 0.5 inches tall. If you were aiming for 300dpi then you'd export your TIFFs cropped to the music itself at 1200x150 pixels. Then you'd just place that image into the picture frame and from properties choose no scaling and centre in the frame. This will ensure your images are consistently placed in the margins, not distorted by scaling, and so on.

I don't draw a new picture frame each time. I copy the previous one with its image already in it, paste it where I want it, and then click Replace Image in the context bar. This makes the process very simple. I also created a paragraph text style just for my images to properly format my photos within the text frame. All of my images are inline, they float with the text.

Affinity Publisher/Designer/Photo 2 for macOS Ventura 13.0, MacBook Pro 14" (M1 Pro)

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THANK YOU!!!! THANK YOU!!!!

You just opened a major door in my thinking about this about this project!

I tried to export the music at 600 dpi, and they were HUGE, 300 dpi quite small. I am to sure what the printer prints, but I will find out. But the picture frame for each example would make life a lot easier.

 

Thanks again,

Robby

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Oh and assuming the music is black and why, look for an option to export as grayscale 8 bit or convert them all with Affinity Photo - this will improve printing and reduce file size further. You don't need 16 bit for music illustrations nor do you need CMYK and you don't want RGB.

Affinity Publisher/Designer/Photo 2 for macOS Ventura 13.0, MacBook Pro 14" (M1 Pro)

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